As we have now the ability to browse by language (in addition to genre and format), I think it's important to standardise how the languages are entered.

The list of current "languages" is a bit of a mess: https://www.biblio.gs/browse/book

Looking at the list I think it's reasonable to agree that the language name should be in English.

What would be the best joiner for multilingual books? There seems to be three popular ones: a comma (my personal favourite), a semicolon, and a forward slash:
"French, English"
"French; English"
"French / English"

Also does the order matter for multilingual books? Should we for example have both "French, English" and "English, French"?

Yes English variants are preferrable.

Also we need in some way to bulk merge languages like 'French' 1200 titles with 'french' 393 titles. It would be better to have a growing dictionary of languages to select/lookup from for language field, it would prevent us from typos.

Also we need in some way to bulk merge languages

I agree. I mean we could slowly fix them too, but that's going to take some time...

I agree with phasics that the best solution would be to have a dictionary of languages in the style of a drop down menu.

As for joiners I like the forward slash.

English is my native language, so I could have a slight bias when listing the languages for multilingual books. Therefore, maybe the list could be sorted alphabetically so as to avoid arguments.

Also we need in some way to bulk merge languages

If the community can decide on which version is the canonical one we could look at updating and consolidate programatically, seems like a simple enough task to automate and doing it by hand would be busywork.

I agree with phasics that the best solution would be to have a dictionary of languages in the style of a drop down menu.

Good point, we'll look into this. Is there a definitive list of languages though? They must number in the thousands?

Maybe aprox 600 languages with over 100,000 users

a comma (my personal favourite)

Mine as well.

SIL has a list of languages, which can be found at (the list is free to view, the profiles require a subscription): https://www.ethnologue.com/browse/names

Those are both spoken and written languages though, and they do not list constructed languages or dialects.

For multiple languages would it perhaps make more sense if were divided into different fields (similar to credits)?

Maybe? As long as it would be still possible to search books by different language combos.

Yes, I think entering "English" and then "Spanish" is preferable to "English / Spanish," "English, Spanish," "English + Spanish," etc.

I don't think we should have a long 600 languages list right now. Almost all we need is on the left of https://www.bookogs.com/browse/book# Just standardize - English form. Don't think if most people equally comprehend 'Беларуская мова' or 'Ελληνικά' in national form. And make the list expandable (probably like Credits now?). There are a lot of books of dissappeared languages. And multi field for language would be great instead of slashes and commas.

Just a thought about language field, what do you think about using an only main language field that could be related with the language of the country the book is released in or with the language used in title and credits or the most used language in the book.
We could add other languages in notes or enter them in a new field: "other languages used"

Unfortunately, this thread seems to have stalled without a resolution.

My thinking is have a dropdown menu with approximately 20 of the most submitted languages and the ability to add a language that isn't on the list.

I feel the most democratic way of listing the languages would be alphabetically and hopefully this can be accomplished by the software.

I think the comma looks the least confusing way of separating multiple names. Another job that can be completed by the software, perhaps?

Also, if the staff read this: would it possible to sort the categories in the Browse Books section in alphabetical order as well as the numbers of credits. It really is tricky to find what you are looking for at present.

Also, if the staff read this: would it be possible to sort the categories in the Browse Books section in alphabetical order as well as the numbers of credits. It really is tricky to find what you are looking for at present.

(The ability to edit comments would be handy too)

Unfortunately, this thread seems to have stalled without a resolution.

We are aware of this thread. I figured a more widely reached consensus was needed on the desired format before changing things. But perhaps cleaning up the current data need not be tied to if/how we decide to structure the input format moving on.

Your suggestion of a dropdown with most submitted and ability to add more sounds good.

My suggestion for handling books multiple languages would still be to have multiple fields (similar to credits). Easier than relying on a standardised separator.

Also, if the staff read this: would it be possible to sort the categories in the Browse Books section in alphabetical order as well as the numbers of credits.

Good idea. Noted, but can't promise when we will get round to it.

Over the last few months I have attempted to clean up the language fields in the Explore page by using the English name of the language and using capitalization.

One of the problems I have encountered is that the list is populated with lists of multiple languages that are separated using various types of characters. This results in the same information appearing in multiple formats.

It really would make my job easier if a uniform character to separate the languages and the order of languages could be agreed upon.

My suggestion would be to use a comma, and order the languages in alphabetical order.

This is not a long term solution just an interim measure until a permanent system is introduced.

That must be the last month (not several months) - time flies when you're having fun.

My suggestion would be to use a comma, and order the languages in alphabetical order.

I'm fine with this, at least for the time being.

I was thinking first that maybe the main language should be first, but then realized that some books are truly multilingual and do not have a main language.

I've been trying to merge them too, but I've had not much extra time lately.

Thanks mirva. My suggestion is definitely an interim measure and not a long term solution.

I will give this one more bump. In 48 hours I will go ahead and make the changes if no one has any objections.

Just to recap: I will group the multiple languages using a common format which will allow me to spot any anomalies much more efficiently. This is not a permanent solution, just an interim measure until a better system is in place.

I am fairly certain that I have formatted all of the multiple languages, so that they are shown in alphabetical order and separated by commas.

The database currently has 147 Norwegian credits, 8 Norwegian (Nynorsk) credits and 1 Norwegian (Bokmål) credit.

Should all Norwegian submissions be differentiated on the basis of Bokmål or Nynorsk, or should they just be categorized as Norwegian?

I am not familiar with the language so I would be interested in what other users might think.

These are officially recognised written forms of the language.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nynorsk

http://www.sprakradet.no/Vi-og-vart/Om-oss/English-and-other-languages/English/norwegian-bokmal-vs.-nynorsk/

I think the distinction is important.

I found a reference pointing to the fact that there may be simultaneously published editions.

That being the case, I vote for keeping the distinction as a language.

"After many years of lobbying from Nynorsk organizations, it was stated in the Primary School Act of 1969 that all textbooks, in order to be approved for use in public primary schools, were to be published in both a Bokmål and a Nynorsk version at the same time and the same price."

http://www.sprakradet.no/Vi-og-vart/Om-oss/English-and-other-languages/English/Nynorsk_in_Norway/

Agree with the temporary solution proposed. I hope we can ultimately add several language fields.
A drop down list of languages can be tricky as ultimately it might be too long to handle. At some point we will have languages in the thousands. The distinction between "language" and "dialect" is highly political and would offend sensibilities. Often a "dialect" becomes a "language" by political decision see pidgin in PNG or Luxembourgian. We should as much as possible stear clear of such controversies. We should at all times be able to add new languages. Thanks to all.

Thanks dzed, I agree they should be differentiated on the basis of your research.

This begs the question, where do the 147 credits that use the generic term Norwegian stand? Would it be possible to retrospectively classify these as Bokmål or Nynorsk based on the uploaded images?

tam89rds, totally agree with your comments.

Although there are two officially recognized language variants of Norwegian, in my opinion we should keep the two variants as "Norwegian" and "Norwegian (Nynorsk)".

The "Norwegian" variant will then cover older Danish-like Norwegian as in "Vildanden"and also other new variants like "Riksmål".

That would be the ideal. But the problem I have, not reading any form of Norwegian is that whilst I could probably say with certainty that text was Norwegian, I couldn't distinguish Nynorsk specifically.

Having three categories allows for those who can distinguish the difference to record the facts accurately, and people like me would just use "Norwegian".

Having three categories allows for those who can distinguish the difference to record the facts accurately, and people like me would just use "Norwegian".

I think that is the best solution.

I agree, that is the best solution. One language "Norwegian".
Eventually using notes to distinguish any particular variant.

As suggested by another user in this post https://www.bookogs.com/forum/3817-one-language-only I would like to reactivate it. Now that is possible to search by language, I think that the solution adopted until now for books in double language is very limiting. In fact, the books with double language doesn’t appear if you search for only one of the two reported languages.
In addition, if you search for a combination, you only find those books that have exactely the same writing order ("English, French" is different from "French, English"). This would be ok if all the users respect the alphabetical order like defined in this post, but unfortunately it’s not always like this… And the more users there are the more will be difficult to correct mistakes.

I agree with Baccanalia proposal:

My thinking is have a dropdown menu with approximately 20 of the most submitted languages and the ability to add a language that isn't on the list.

But then we should also allow to search for languages combination and not only for one as it is today.

Can't the system be just updated so that it would recognize the comma, and split the two (or more) languages as separate entities? Then just allow browsing by more than one language? I'm no coder, so just curious.

I just did a quick tour of some of the other book databases, and it seems that most of them don't even link/index languages, or do it very poorly.

vinyljunkie66 has brought to my attention that there is a guideline under the category of Language which depending on your interpretation might be at odds with the community decision to order multiple language combinations alphabetically and separate them using a comma:

"Use the primary language on the object (probably the same language that is used in the small print). (1.8.2.a)"

The reason for deciding on a structured system of listing multiple language was to minimise the amount of combinations entered to the Language database, and hopefully to make it easier for someone searching these combinations.

Personally, I don't see a conflict with that guideline and the decision arrived at in this Forum. Many of the guidelines imported from Discogs are no longer current on Bookogs, due to the unique requirements of this site.

Do we need to revisit this topic, or does the guideline simply need modification?

I think that specific guideline deals with which language to use for the submission when the publication is multilingual. A lot of that guideline is copied directly from the Discogs guidelines, and Discogs doesn't have a Language field.
https://www.discogs.com/help/submission-guidelines-general-rules.html#Languages

I would think it would be odd if we were not allowed to list all the languages used in a publication in the Language field.

I see it could be misinterpreted though (and maybe I've done it so myself), so if anything, the guideline should be clarified.

Thanks mirva.

I should point out that vinyljunkie66 didn't seem to have a problem listing all of the languages used in the submitted article, the objection related to the specific order of the languages. The user cited that guideline as proof that any decision made by community was overridden on this matter. I should have made that clear from the outset.

However, if I was interpreting that guideline then I would feel restricted to recording just one language, i.e. the primary language used in the submitted article.

If that interpretation is correct then the Guideline is redundant on Bookogs.

deals with which language to use for the submission when the publication is multilingual

Sorry, I overlooked that point. Yes, you could be right. Like a lot the Guidelines they are worded in a manner that allows for all sorts of interpretations. A bit like the Bible.

This discussion seems to have stalled. Is the system of listing multiple languages alphabetically and separating them using a comma still the accepted method or have we moved on from that decision?

As far as I can see, that decision still stands.

Sorry I'm late getting to this thread. The guidelines are in fact pretty Discogs-centric and need to be adapted. I've adapted it to follow the conversation here, so if you submit a book that's in multiple languages you should list them all in alphabetical order in the Languages field of the submission form.
https://www.bookogs.com/wiki/bookogs-general-guidelines#languages Let me know if we've missed anything!

Thanks for the guideline update!

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